KASHMIR CONFLICT BETWEEN PAKISTAN AND INDIA
The State of Jammu and Kashmir is situated between Pakistan and India. Among the key reasons for tension between Pakistan and India is the key problem of Kashmir. Whereas Pakistan has repeatedly termed this the "core issue" in its relationship with India, India has maintained that this matter was settled with Kashmir's accession to India in October 1947. As far as India has been concerned, therefore, the only issue for discussion has been what India regards as Pakistan's continuing illegal occupation of part of Jammu and Kashmir, an occupation that began in 194748, during the war between the two. About 63 per cent of the territory is under Indian occupation; while the rest, 37 per cent, is with Pakistan, called "Azad" meaning independent Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). Total population of Kashmir is about 13 million. Population of Indian occupied Kashmir is about 7.7 million and remaining 6 million is with Pakistan. Kashmir dispute is the oldest unresolved conflict between Pakistan and India. Over which both countries have fought 3 wars. Pakistan considers Kashmir as the fundamental political dispute with India, where as India does not consider Kashmir as a dispute, in fact it considers it as its internal affair. The world has accepted Kashmir as a disputed territory and as an international conflict that needs to be resolved. The history of Kashmir conflict goes back 1947, when both Pakistan and India got independence from the British. Kashmir has always been an independent territory. Until 1846, Kashmir was part of the Sikh empire. In that year, the British defeated the Sikhs and sold Kashmir to Gulab Singh of Jammu for Rs. 7.5 million under the Treaty of Amritsar. Gulab Singh, the Mahraja, signed a separate treaty with the British which gave him the status of an independent princely ruler of Kashmir. Gulab Singh died in 1857 and was replaced by Rambir Singh (1857-1885). Two other Marajas, Partab Singh (1885-1925) and Hari Singh (1925-1949) ruled in succession. Maharaja Hari Singh did not wish to make an immediate decision about the future of Kashmir, perhaps hoping for independence. He signed a Standstill Agreement with India and Pakistan. There are two versions of what happened next. According to Pakistan, the ruler of Kashmir wanted it to be part of Pakistan. India put lot of pressure on the Maharaj Hari Singh to make Kashmir part of India. Seeing this, majority of Muslim population in Kashmir rebelled against the Maharaja. The government of India, alleging that the ruler had acceded to India on the basis of a fraudulent instrument of accession, invaded and occupied a large part of Kashmir, which is now divided into Azad (Liberated) Kashmir and 'Indian-held Kashmir'. India has not kept its promise to hold a plebiscite to determine the wishes of the Kashmiris... India needs to implement UN resolutions calling for a referendum. The Indian version is a different from the above. According to India, Pakistan placed economical restrictions to force Maharaja to join Pakistan. When this failed, Pakistan sent its armed tribesmen to forcibly make Kashmir part of Pakistan. Maharaja Hari Singh was thus forced to seek India's help, and on October 26th 1947 Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession. Indian forces entered Kashmir and fighting continued until the battle stabilized. Eventually the United Nations arranged a cease-fire January 1st 1949 and the cease-fire line became known as the Line of Control. Approximately a quarter of the western portion of the state is occupied by Pakistan, with the remainder a part of India. A plebiscite has never been held as promised because Pakistan never fulfilled a prerequisite condition - the complete withdrawal of Pakistani troops from Kashmir. Subsequently, free and fair elections have been held in Kashmir. Lastly, the future of the disputed territory is to be worked out by bilateral negotiations between India and Pakistan as called for in Simla...
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